The subject of vaccinations comes with many questions. Common questions that parents have are: how useful the vaccines are, are painless vaccines as effective, does my child’s immunity become weak if I vaccinate them. I have tried to address some of these questions on my blog.
Another doubt that we have is on giving a vaccine when our child is unwell or if our child is weak.
My younger daughter had fractured her leg at a very young age and was bed ridden for almost 2 months. Post that she needed another few months of physiotherapy to completely recuperate. While during this time, there was no vaccine due, but staying home for a log period had affected her immunity. So, I was quite worried now, If I should be giving her vaccines on time, or should I delay them by a few months. I was also wondering, had her vaccine schedule been between this period that she was unwell, what would be the directive on the same.
So, I went back to my trusted WHO site which gives the most accurate information on any health related queries, as well as consulted with our family doctors and here’s what I learnt.
Vaccination when children are unwell
As we all know, vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases, before they come into contact with them. It uses our body’s natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections and makes our immune system stronger.
Vaccines train our immune system to create antibodies, just as it does when it’s exposed to a disease. However, because vaccines contain only killed or weakened forms of germs like viruses or bacteria, they do not cause the disease or put you at risk of its complications.
But they can cause some very weak symptoms like a mild fever or at times pain too. So, If your child is already unwell, suffering from a viral, cold, cough or any discomfort, it is advisable to wait till they are feeling healthy and then go for the vaccine. It is ok to delay the vaccine by a few days or a couple of weeks too if needed
Vaccination for weak children
But in some cases, like in my case, I was worried that my daughter was already weak. Would it be advisable in that case to expose her to the vaccines, when her immune system was already weak?
What I didn’t think of at that time was, that since her immunity was low, the more time that I would delay in giving her the vaccine, she was at a risk of being exposed to the actual disease for that much time, and that too without having developed the immunity.
So, at such a time it is advisable to follow your doctors advise and make sure that you follow your schedules so avoid the risk of exposing your child we already might be weak to dangerous diseases and offer them protection they need.
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